Haves and have-nots
For the last 30 years or so the racing landscape hasn't changed that much. The tracks that mattered were in Southern California, New York and Kentucky and, for a few months in the winter, Florida. Monmouth wasn't too far behind. Neither were Arlington and a few other places. The rest just weren't that significant.But recent developments show how much the sport has changed and will continue to change. The gulf between the haves (slot tracks) and the have-nots (non-slots tracks) has never been bigger and 2012 figures to be the year where the have-nots get blown out of the water. On January 1, a huge purse increase will kick in at Aqueduct. The money will come from the profits at the Aqueduct casino, which, after 10 years of political fumbling and malfeasance, finally came to fruition. The winter at the Big A is hardly known as a racing paradise, but the Ozone Park oval will offer the biggest pots in the country.
It used to be that Monmouth Park, and not Philadelphia Park, had the best racing in the Mid-Atlantic area. No more.